Bushnell Trophy XLT 20-60x65 spotting scope
- By Pete Moore
- 6 Comments
- Last updated: 19/12/2016
As you gain more knowledge and experience in shooting, you soon realise that kit you might have thought was unessential when you started is now worth considering. I never used to carry binos when hunting, as I had my scope, now I always do; see what I mean? But what about a spotting scope; too big, too heavy and too expensive; anyway I’ve got my binos! But there are times when a deal of extra magnification can be beneficial, be it for spotting those long range groups or checking out quarry, to see what it is and if it’s worth shooting. In both cases saving a deal of time and leg work!
So may I direct you to Bushnell’s 20-60x65 XLT? They make a range of spotting scopes and I think the most expensive is around £600, pretty good compared to the £2K+ of the top European brands! The 20-60 sits at just under £350 (angled eyepiece model) or £318 (straight eyepiece) and proved to be an affordable and effective design. Yes, I’d love a Swarovski or Zeiss but I know I could not justify it for a spotter; a scope probably! However, don’t write Bushnell off as cheap, as they make quality products to suit all pockets and the sheer scale of their manufacture means prices are keen.
The XLT is 14” long and weighs 42 oz and comes in a hard case with a soft bag, integral sunshade and objective cap and a compact tripod. It’s a porro prism design and uses BaK-4 glass along with fully, multicoated lenses and their Rainguard outer coating, which repels water. The build uses green rubber armour. Being a variable power design makes it a lot more versatile, with x20 being ideal for closer work. This is controlled by twisting the eyepiece, which is angled up at approximately 35°, making it easier to view down on. This has an un-tethered pull-of cap. Focus consists of a rotary wheel just forward and right of the prism housing.
The folding tripod attaches by a standard camera thread and offers a twist-&-lock handle, that gives both traverse and elevation movement. The XLT proved its promise and I had no real complaints on clarity or effective range observation, plus it’s not that hard to carry in the field in its bag. If you’re serious about deer culling or do longer-range varminting, it’s worth humping it! Two small niggles, it’s easy to lose the eyepiece cap, as it’s not attached and the tripod is a fixed height, which when shooting off a bench or prone, places the scope a bit too high to view without having to get up! But at the price no complaints and cheap compact tripods are readily available. Slightly cheaper and of lower power is the XLT 14-45x50, also worth a look!
PRICE: £318-£345 (depending on eyepiece) £270 14-45x50
CONTACT: Edgar Brothers Ltd, 01625 613177